Carey is a self-described spiritual gangster. Think life long entrepreneur and former business exec meets soul-seeking Co-Active Coach. Truth is her trademark, love is her come from and inspiring is her way.
With an extensive background as sales and marketing executive and co-founder of her own company, Carey’s professional journey has included working across several industries helping both small and large companies innovate, transform and grow. All the work she is up to these days comes from her fierce commitment to create space for the next generation of leaders to emerge. www.careybbaker.com
What events led up to you deciding to take back your life?
What event didn’t lead me to “taking back my life”? That is to say that in retrospect it seems as though my entire life lead me to choosing aliveness over surviving.
The accumulation of my life events had me measuring my life and work in direct correlation to my ability to capitalize on everything. Any choice I made, any dreams I had, anything I wanted seemed to have a price tag. And so I prioritized the things that made me money. My strategy: get a job, climb the corporate ladder, acquire fancy titles, cash big paychecks and make even bigger sacrifices. My relationship to my world became one big transaction. On a good day, I sidestepped what was most important to me, most of the time I just stepped on it. By the time I was 29 I had worked for the man, lead a turn-around for a Silicon Valley company and launched and almost sold my own company.
I had a career on the fast track and piles of money in my bank account…and I felt totally bankrupt.
Was there a significant event or moment that made you realize you needed to make a change? What was it?
A moment is so relative. My “moment” spanned a 2 year period of time. I was working for a Silicon Valley company and at the same time starting a spin off company of which I was a majority share holder.
I would find myself driving to work watching the sunrise over the hills in tears wanting more for myself, knowing there was something more for me.
The deal for my company to be bought fell through, my primary relationship was falling apart because I was unrecognizable, I didn’t know what I liked to eat anymore, what I liked to do for fun, what other interests I had outside of business and my work world.
Was there a first step of action when you decided to take back your life? What was it?
I walked away from the “work”.
I got a yoga mat, a therapist, a coach.
I grieved, I went into the darkness of my heart, I let myself dive into the depth of my pain.
I explored my life and my world and started asking myself life affirming questions like: what do I want? what’s most important to me?
I began to try things on, test things out, remember who I was and see who I was becoming.
Since you took back your life, how have things changed for you?
There is no distinction between my life and my work anymore. It’s just all life. What I do is all expressions of who I am, what I am intended for. There is more fulfillment in that, more expansion, more sustain.
Love, rather than fear, is the engine of my life: I stand for and create from heart, from truth, from intention.
My relationships are more dynamic, more meaningful, more real.
I know what I like to eat: anything fresh, locally grown and delicious.
I know what I like to do for fun: dance, play drums, explore spirituality.
I know what interests me outside of my “work”: philosophy, deep conversations, family, physicality and moving my body, nature.
What would you say to anyone who finds themselves in the situation you were in?
Touch your growing edge. Go into the darkness of your life, that is where the rich stuff is. It will only serve you in cultivating your dreams, creating reality that is fulfilling and alive.
Build a team around you. Get a coach, a mentor, a therapist, a guru, a best friend. Lean into them for their wisdom, guidance and support and let them serve you in exploring who you are and what you want.
You are the journey. Don’t ignore anything that is burning deep inside of you…it’s calling you for a good reason.
What does ‘Fully Alive’ mean to you?
Fully alive means expanding your consciousness. It means experiencing the entire breadth of this human experience. It means going into the darkness, touching your edges, pushing past the boundaries of wherever you are just existing and evolving and growing into the next level of life affirming experience.
Fully alive doesn’t always feel good, but it feels real, it feels whole, it feels full of energy and power and resource.
Favourite Inspirational Quote
“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.
Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually without noticing it, live your way to the answer.” Rainer Maria Rike
Connect with Carey
Take Back Your Life Month
Last year, I declared May 16th ‘Take Back Your Life’ Day, because that’s the day that I took back my life from that evil beast, Cancer. It’s so important to me that this year I’m declaring the whole month of May ‘Take Back Your Life’. Every Tuesday and Friday this month, be inspired by stories of everyday people who have transformed their lives. These are people who converted a moment of struggle into a moment of strength and revolution! (Read more here.) Check back here to read their stories & share your own on social media! #TakeBackYourLife